MediaTek unveils 5G chip aimed at gaining US market share

Taiwanese chip designer MediaTek has released a new 5G chip aimed at helping it gain market share in the United States.
MediaTek M80 for 5G smartphonesMediaTek is one of the few suppliers of modem chips that help devices such as smart phones connect to cellular data networks. The company supplies chips to phone makers such as Xiaomi and LG Electronics, among others.

To date, though, MediaTek’s 5G chips have been compatible with only the “sub-6” variant of 5G networks, which is the variety being widely used in countries such as China.

MediaTek’s modem chip announced on Monday, called the M80, will also support millimeter-wave technology, which is being used by U.S. carriers such as Verizon Communications.

Verizon uses the name “5G Ultra Wideband” for the service. Qualcomm is currently the dominant supplier of chips to take advantage of the millimeter wave technology, with its chips used in the U.S. versions of Apple’s iPhone 12 5G smartphone.

Finbarr Moynihan, general manager of international corporate sales, said that MediaTek hopes to win more contracts to supply chips for U.S. models, Reuters reported.

“It’s a very different market, in terms of the operator landscape and the technology requirements, but we’ve been very pleased to some solid progress in our volume and market share” with handset makers such as Samsung and LG, Finbarr Moynihan said.

“As 5G rollouts accelerate, mmWave is becoming increasingly important, especially in the U.S. MediaTek’s new 5G modem integrates support for both sub-6 GHz and mmWave networks to address this opportunity and give device makers more flexibility,” said JC Hsu, corporate vice president of MediaTek’s Wireless Communications Business Unit.

MediaTek’s 5G modems are suitable for advanced devices, including smartphones, PCs, Mi-Fi hotspots, broadband customer premise equipment (CPE), industrial IoT applications and more.

MediaTek’s first generation 5G modem, the M70, is built into MediaTek’s Dimensity chipsets for 5G smartphones.

The company’s 5G portfolio also includes the MediaTek T700, which will power 5G PCs set to hit the market in 2021, along with MediaTek’s T750 chipset for 5G fixed wireless access routers (FWA) and mobile hotspot devices.